Sunday, May 01, 2005

Beware of creeps bearing gifts 

Could David Brooks have signed up for a Republican disinformation campaign?

Of course not! So we can take it as gospel truth when Brooks writes:

Let's make a deal
Bill Frist should have taken the deal.

Last week, the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, made an offer to head off a nuclear exchange over judicial nominations. Reid offered to allow votes on a few of the judges stuck in limbo if the Republicans would withdraw a few of the others.

But there was another part of the offer that hasn't been publicized. I've been [cough] reliably informed that Reid also vowed to prevent a filibuster on the next Supreme Court nominee. Reid said that if liberals tried to filibuster President Bush's pick, he'd come up with five or six Democratic votes to help Republicans close off debate. In other words, barring a scandal or some other exceptional circumstance, Reid would enable Bush's nominee to get a vote and probably be confirmed.

Reid couldn't put this offer in writing because it would outrage liberal interest groups. Frist said he'd think about it, but so far he's let it drop
(via NY Times)

I guess Little Danny Okrent's strictures on anonymous sources don't apply to the OpEd page. And how could doubt that Brooks, "the reasonable one," and a former Weekly Standard editor, is a man of perfect integrity?

But still... There's a distinct genre of winger columns, let's call it "Helpful Advice," where the wingers, with all the best intentions in the world, give the Democrats sincere advice on how to win back power—generally by posing as Winger Lite. Of course, for the Dems to gain power, the wingers would have to lose it, so the advice is obviously complete bullshit disingenuous.

Brook's column strikes me as a very sophisticated version of the "Helpful Advice" column. While seemingly aimed at the (truly bungling) Frist, it is aimed to sow dissension in the united Democratic ranks ("reliable source" == traitor) and undermine Reid's leadership as well.

Unless, of course—which is entirely possible—there is also some wheels-within-wheels Democratic strategry and trickeration as well... Readers?

UPDATE See Kevin Drum take the bait. What's in the water down there?

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